Have We Hit Peak Marketing?

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Growth stage? Consolidation phase? Early days? Mature market?

It seems that the growth of marketing technology was – in fact – not overstated by the pundits, analysts and armchair quarterbacks a few years back Remember that whole, CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs by 2017 bit from Gartner? Startups of all shapes and sizes have grown and continue to be created in the MarTech space. Acquisitions are still (fairly) hot and heavy and consolidation seems to still be the major players’ gameplay to demonstrate growth to the marketplace. Look no further than the recent news from Gartner for Marketers and their 2018 – 2019 CMO Spend Survey.

A few key points that are worth noting:

  • Innovation is alive and growing. 16% of marketing budgets are for innovation, and it is expected to grow in the coming year.
  • Marketing is a priority investment… and this is coming from the C suite (not the marketers).
  • Marketing budgets are expected to increase this year, according to the Chief Marketing Officer.
  • Advertising is not dead. Over 20% of the marketing budget is spent on advertising. 2/3 of that budget is now digital (ever with the issues of transparency, trust and more).

It’s not all unicorns, lollipops and belly rubs.

For every strong data point (like the ones above), come challenges. CMOs still tend to be focused on vanity metrics (or metrics that are only relevant to the marketing department), they’re worried about where their ads are being published, personalization continues to be a top priority, but it’s (mostly) an unknown in relation to getting it properly deployed and capitalized. The list goes on.

Marketing technology (MarTech) is the biggest driver in marketing today:

“Marketing technology (martech) budgets continue their march forward with no signs of slowing. Up from 22% of the budget in 2017, technology now accounts for a whopping 29% of the total marketing expense budget, making martech the single largest area of investment when it comes to marketing resources and programs.”

Thinking about marketing in different ways. Thinking about marketing as “marketing.”

There are still (way) too many, “marketing is dead” articles, podcasts and books out in the market. They’re (mostly) wrong. Marketing isn’t dead. And this is beyond the reality that most of these pundits are confusing “marketing” for “advertising.” Here’s what is happening: advertising is taking on a less important roll in the marketing mix, while new technologies (that enable brands to be more cost effectively and meet their consumers where they are) grows exponentially. Some might read that as an over-simplification. I would push back. Marketing is facing a massive growth spurt (technology is pushing this forward). Social media is a mature market, and its cracks are staring to show. Technology, smart audio and artificial intelligence is changing the user experience, and making it that easier for brands and consumers to connect. There will be more consolidation and more uncertainty. That’s part of the fun and challenge of this business of marketing.

Want more?

Last week, I sat down with Adam Fraser from the EchoJunction Podcast to dig deep on the state of marketing, technology and where the industry is at. 

There’s more perspective right here… let me know if you agree… or not…